91017 - Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy

Course Unit Page


This teaching activity contributes to the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN 2030 Agenda.

Good health and well-being Responsible consumption and production Life on land

Academic Year 2021/2022

Learning outcomes

At the end of the course the student: - possesses scientific knowledge that allows him to carry out the morphological identification of drugs, to recognize their animal or vegetable origin and, in the latter case, preparation and habitat; - is able to recognize the chemical structures that represent their active principles of which he knows the application in the pharmacological / therapeutic field or in the technological or cosmetics ones; - is able to evaluate the use of herbal preparations.

Course contents

Unit 1 Pharmacognosy: Lucia Carboni

Definition of pharmacognosy. Morphology, phytochemistry, pharmacological efficacy, safety, and pharmacological interactions of crude drugs. Harvesting and conservation of medicinal plants. Factors influencing the nature and amount of active constituents in crude drugs. Quality control of plant material.

Identification, main characteristics, active constituents, and therapeutic efficacy of crude drugs containing carbohydrates; lipids; phenolic, tannin, anthraquinone, saponin, cardioactive, cyanogenetic, anthocyanin, flavonoid glycosides; coumarins; glucosinolates. Crude drugs containing terpene and terpenoid derivatives: volatile oils, resins, balsams. Crude drugs containing alkaloids.

Unit 2 Phytotherapy: Fabio Vivarelli

Definition of phytotherapy. Polyvalent action. Phytotherapic treatments of the gastrointestinal and biliary system; the cardiovascular system; the respiratory system; the central nervous system; the endocrine system; the reproductive and urinary tracts; the eye, ear, nose, and orthopharynx. Weight management. Adaptogen phytotherapy. Tumour inhibitors of natural origin; supportive phytotherapies.


Heinrich, Barnes, Prieto-Garcia, Gibbons, Williamson «Fundamentals of Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy» Elsevier, 2018

Evans «Trease and Evans' Pharmacognosy 16th Edition» Saunders Ltd., 2009

Teaching methods

The course is delivered by oral teaching (48 hours).

Assessment methods

Students are evaluated in an oral examination on Pharmacognosy and Phytotherapy programmes. Exams will be taken online if the situation so required.

Teaching tools

Teaching tools are available on Virtuale web site. Samples of crude drugs from medicinal plants will be displayed during the course.

Office hours

See the website of Lucia Carboni

See the website of Fabio Vivarelli